1.  Introduction

‘Hurricane Long 5’ is currently the blade that represents the blade range of DHS (= Double Happiness). Also it is currently the representative of all World Champion blades from all table tennis makers. The reason why ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is so much famous is that it is the blade used by world’s best player – Ma Long. Although the one which is actually used by Ma Long is a customized blade, it is of course based on regular ‘Hurricane Long 5’. Regarding the characteristics of ‘Hurricane Long 5’, please refer to former article – “DHS Hurricane Long 5 & 3 – Overview & Lab Test“.

The construction of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is ‘inner fiber’ construction whose fiber material is placed under middle layer. Also, ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is thinner than most of standard 5-ply wood offensive blades. As a result, the elasticity of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is not that high. Therefore, it is difficult for ordinary players to make powerful ball from ‘Hurricane Long 5’. That is the reason why DHS adds its faster version – ‘Hurricane Long 5X’.

Fig.01 DHS ‘Hurricane Long 5X’

In the blade range of DHS, ‘X’ means the blade whose elasticity has been enhanced by the application of thicker plywood construction. The DHS blades whose names include ‘X’ are much faster than existing blades whose name doesn’t have ‘X’. And, the ‘X’ version of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is ‘Hurricane Long 5X’.

Fig.02 ‘Hurricane Long 5’ (left) and ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ (right)

The appearance of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is same as that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. We can find the difference of the printing on the head. However that printing isn’t directly applied to the surface of blade but to the transparent cover. If the transparent covers are removed, we can distinguish between two blades only by the construction of plywood.

Fig.03 The constructions of plywoods of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’

From above picture, we can make sure that the center layer of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is much thicker than that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. The top layer is Limba, middle layer is Ayous, and the center layer is also Ayous for both of two blades. The overall thickness of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is about 6.0mm while the overall thickness of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is about 5.8mm. But, the distance between two fiber layers is much more important than the overall thickness. We can expect that the elasticity of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is higher than that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’.

Fig.04 The backside of handles of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’

The backside of handle is also identical. Color of the handle is identical. And, both of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’ have the dragon face which is treated by metal plate. We can’t distinguish between two blades from above picture. (Left one is ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. The difference of the vertical placement of dragon face is just due to the irregularity of production.)

Fig.05 The frontside of handles of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’

The design of frontside is also the same. We can’t distinguish ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ from ‘Hurricane Long 5’ until we see the edge of blade to check the construction. Everything except for transparent cover is identical.

Then let’s observe the mechanical characteristics of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ by Performance Indices.


2. Blades to be compared

The blades to be compared are as follows :

  • DHS Hurricane Long 5 : Thinner than ‘Hurricane Long 5X’
  • Butterfly Harimoto Tomokazu InnerForce ALC : Thick Inner-ALC blade
  • Tibhar Shang Kun Hybrid AC : Thick Inner-ALC blade
  • Tibhar Fortino Force : Inner-PLC blade (Comparable with thick Inner-ALC blades)
  • Butterfly InnerForce Layer ALC : Inner-ALC blade of regular thickness
  • Stiga Carbonado 90 : Outer TeXtreme blade which can be comparable with Inner-ALC blades)
  • Butterfly Korbel : Representative of 5-ply wood offensive blade
  • Stiga Allround Classic : Reference (all values are 1.0)

At first, ‘Hurricane Long 5’ which is the regular ‘inner-ALC’ blade will be compared with ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ which is the inner-ALC blade with extra thick center layer.

Fig.06 ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’

‘Harimoto ALC’ (= ‘Harimoto Tomokazu InnerForce ALC’), ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ are also thick inner-ALC blades those can be directly compared with ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. And, although it has difference fiber (= Dyneema Carbon), ‘Fortino Force’ can also be compared with ‘Hurricane Long 5X’.

The remaining are the blades those are not directly compared with ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is compared not with ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ but with ‘Hurricane Long 5’. ‘Carbonado 90’ isn’t inner-fiber blade. Its construction is outer-fiber construction whose fiber is placed directly under top layer. ‘Korbel’ isn’t a fiber blade. It is the representative of 5-ply wood offensive blades. But, it has to be included in this comparison because for many skilled players ‘inner-fiber’ blades are the replacement of 5-ply wood offensive blade such as ‘Korbel’.

Comparison will be done by performance indices. Concerning the detail of four performance indices, please refer to following articles in ‘Background’ section :


3. Comparison by Performance Indices

Fig.07 Comparison by Elasticity Indices

Fig.07 shows the comparison graph of Elasticity Indices.

The Ep and the Ec of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ are 1.86 and 154 respectively. Ep of 1.86 isn’t an extremely high value. However, it is a meaningfully high value as the Ep of ‘inner-ALC’ blade. And, we can also notice that Ep is noticeably higher than Ec.

The Ep and the Ec of thinner model – ‘Hurricane Long 5’ are 1.64 and 1.24 respectively. We can see noticeable difference between the elasticity indices of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ and those of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. Relatively thicker ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is apparently faster than relatively thinner ‘Hurricane Long 5’.

Then we can compare ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ with three inner fiber blades those are faster than inner-ALC blades of regular speed. The Ep of ‘Harimoto ALC’ is 2.10. It is very high value as the Ep of inner-ALC blade. And, the Ep of ‘Harimoto ALC’ is 1.83. It is an extremely high value as the Ec of inner-ALC blade. We can notice from those values that the purpose of ‘Harimoto ALC’ is different from that of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is more suitable for continuous topspin. But, ‘Harimoto ALC’ is more suitable for fast attack. On the contrary, ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ (Ep = 1.87, Ec = 1.60) is quite close to ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. We will be able to understand that ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ is the blade developed under the same concept (or purpose) as ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. The Ep of ‘Fortino Force’ (= 1.88) is also close to the Ep of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ (= 1.86). However, the Ec of ‘Fortino Force’ (= 1.72) is somewhat higher than those of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ and ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’. We can guess that it is because the construction of ‘Fortino Force’ is thicker than the other models in this comparison. Sensitive players will notice the difference of Ec. For the players who want to use various technic, that will be the good point of ‘Fortino Force’.

Then let’s compare the other blades those are not direct competitors of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. At first, the Ep and the Ec of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ which is the inner-ALC blade with regular elasticity are 1.62 and 1.45 respectively. Its Ep is noticeably lower than that of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’, and is close to that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. However, its Ec is noticeably higher than that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. The overall shape of the graph of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is similar to that of ‘Harimoto ALC’. It means that ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is more suitable for all-round play than for continuous topspin, although as we know it can be of course sufficiently usable for continuous topspin. The player who want to concentrate on continuous topspin may prefer ‘Hurricane Long 5’ to ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’.

It is interesting to see the values of ‘Carbonado 90’ (Ep = 1.88, Ec = 1.61). Although it isn’t an inner-ALC blade but an outer-carbon blade, its values are very close to those of ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. We will be able to consider ‘Carbonado 90’ as the competitor of ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5X’.

The Ep and Ec of ‘Korbel’ (= 1.54 and 1.27 respectively) are of course the lowest in this comparison (if we ignore the reference blade – ‘Allround Classic’). However, it is interesting that the difference between the values of ‘Korbel’ and those of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is not that significant.

Examining Ec/Ep is also a easier way to understand the tendency of elasticity of blades. Fig.8 shows the relationship between Ec/Ep and Ep.

Fig.08 Ec/Ep vs. Ep

Ec/Ep expresses the ‘tendency’ of the elasticity of blade. By examining Ec/Ep and Ep at the same time, we can easily understand the behavior of blades.

On the graph, all the blades except for reference blade are in ‘Hold’ range (Ec/Ep < 1.0). ‘Fortino Force’ and ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ are near the border line between ‘Mild Hold’ range and ‘Deep Hold’ range. The other six blades are in ‘Deep Hold’ range. But, among the six, ‘Harimoto ALC’ is relatively closer to the border line when compared with the other five.

The one that is at the lowest position if ‘Hurricane Long 5’. Its Ep is similar to that of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ or ‘Korbel’, its Ec/Ep is noticeably lower. It means that ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is a blade designed for the players who play with ‘aggressive’ topspin at close-to-table area. And, when we observe Ec/Ep, the one that shows the close value of Ec/Ep to ‘Korbel’ is ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. The players may feel that ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is the blade which is faster than ‘Korbel’ but gives similar playing characteristics. ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ will be good candidate in case a player is searching for the replacement of ‘Korbel’ to make compensation for speed.

The Ec/Ep’s of ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ and ‘Carbonado 90’ are higher than that of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. Although the difference isn’t significant, sensitive players may feel the difference. And, the blade whose ‘Hold’ characteristic is even shallower is ‘Fortino Force’. Therefore, the difference between ‘Fortino Force’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is significant. It will make the difference of proper playing style. ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is more suitable for continuous topspin, and ‘Fortino Force’ is more suitable for all-round play or fast attach, if we compare those two blades. ‘Harimoto ALC’ also shows similar Ec/Ep as ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ and ‘Carbonado 90’. However, its Ep is much higher. Some players like the high elasticity of ‘Harimoto ALC’. But, others may think that it is too much elastic for topspin.

Then successively, let’s compare Vibration Indices. Fig. 09 shows the comparison graph of Vibration Indices.

Fig.09 Comparison by Vibration Indices

Vibration Indices are concerned with feeling. Vp indicates primary feeling which is transferred to player’s palm. And, Vl is the feeling at the wing of a blade. It is felt by player’s index finger or middle finger.

The Vp and the Vl of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ are 1.20 and 1.37 respectively. Those are higher than the indices of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ (Vp = 1.06, Vl = 1.27). Players will feel that ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is harder than ‘Hurricane Long 5’. The difference of Vp is relatively bigger than the difference of Vl. Additionally, 1.20 isn’t a very high value of Vp. We can’t consider ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ as a blade with hard feeling. It is still in the category of soft blade. However, the softness of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ isn’t as extreme as that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is moderately soft.

The Vp of ‘Harimoto ALC’ (= 1.24) is higher than that of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. On the contrary, the Vl of ‘Harimoto ALC’ (= 1.20) is significantly lower than that of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. Because there is so much difference in Vl, players will feel significant difference between ‘Harimoto ALC’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5X’.

Differently from ‘Harimoto ALC’, ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ gives very similar feeling as ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. The indices of ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ (Vp = 1.20, Vl = 1.34) are very close to those of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. Players may feel the similarity between ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5X’.

The indices of ‘Fortino Force’ (Vp = 1.28, Vl = 1.38) are higher than those of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. There is noticeable difference in Vp. However, the difference of Vl’s is very small (= 0.01).

The Vp (= 1.15) of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is a bit lower than that of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’, and significantly higher than that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. However, the Vl (= 1.23) of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is even lower than that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. Therefore the overall balance of feeling of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is apparently different from both of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’.

We can see again that ‘Carbonado 90’ (Vp = 1.19, Vl = 1.32) shows very similar graph as ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. The difference between Vp of ‘Carbonado 90’ and that of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is almost ignorable. And, the difference between Vl of ‘Carbonado 90’ and that of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is also small. Because ‘Carbonado 90’ is very close to ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ or ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ in all indices, we can consider this ‘outer carbon’ blade as the competitor of ‘fast inner ALC’ blades – ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ and ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’

Finally, the indices of ‘Korbel’ (Vp = 1.07, Vl = 1.23) are quite close to those of ‘Hurricane 5’ (Vp = 1.06, Vl = 1.27). It means that ‘Hurricane Long 5’ gives us the feeling like 5-ply wood blade. That can be emphasized as the attractive point of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. And, ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is the harder and faster version of ‘Hurricane Long 5’.

Examining Vl/Vp will be better way of comparison. Fig.10 shows the relationship between Vl/Vp and Vp.

Fig.10 Vl/Vp vs. Vp

On the graph, all the blades except for the reference blade (= ‘Allround Classic’) are ‘Harimoto ALC’ are placed in upper (Vl/Vp > 0) area – ‘relatively sharper at index finger’ range.

The position of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is quite high. But, it is lower than the position of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ gives relatively sharp feeling at index finger area. But, it isn’t as extreme as the feeling of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. We can also see the similarity between the relative value of ‘Korbel’ and that of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’. The Vl/Vp of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is similar to that of ‘Korbel’. Therefore, for the player who want to replace ‘Korbel’ with faster blade while keeping the relative feeling, ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ will be better solution than ‘Hurricane Long 5’, although ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is noticeably harder than ‘Korbel’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’ in primary feeling.

‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ and ‘Fortino Force’ are placed in ‘near uniform’ range (0.9 < Vl/Vp < 1.1). Those two give relatively sharp feeling at index finger. But, there will be some players who feel that the sharpness of feeling at index finger is not apparent. ‘Fortino Force’ may be good solution in case a player wants to replace ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ with harder & faster blade while keeping the relative feeling at index finger.

The blades those are placed close to ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ are ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ and ‘Carbonado 90’. Those two and ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ compose one group on the graph of vibration indices. As ‘Hurricane Long 5X’, ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ and ‘Carbonado 90’ can also be considered as the replacement of ‘Korbel’ for the enhancement of speed.

Fig.11 The lens of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’.

4. Summary

The result of comparison can be summarized as follows :

  • Both of the primary elasticity and the central elasticity of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ are higher than those of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. As we can expect from its thicker construction, it will provide higher elasticity than relatively thinner inner-ALC blades such as ‘Hurricane Long 5’.
  • The enhancement of speed is apparent. But, it isn’t extreme. ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ provides moderately high speed, and it holds ball very deep when player hits ball very hard. That makes ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ suitable for the players who play with continuous topspin.
  • ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is harder than ‘Hurricane Long 5’ both in primary feeling and in lateral feeling. However, the relative feeling that is transferred to index flinger isn’t as extreme as that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. We may be able to consider the feeling of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ as a new optimum feeling for ABS ball age. We can find two other blades those provide similar feeling as ‘Hurricane Long 5X’.
  • Although ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is harder than ‘Hurricane Long 5’, we can’t say that ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is a hard blade. It can be considered as a moderately soft blade.

‘Hurricane Long 5X’ provides performance and feeling like the faster version of ‘Korbel’ which is a 5-ply wood offensive blade. Therefore, if a player wants to replace ‘Korbel’ with a faster blade for ABS ball age, ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ is expected to be a good solution. If a player wants the blade as fast as ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ but thinks that the hold characteristics of ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ should be a bit reduced, ‘Shang Kun Hybrid AC’ or ‘Carbonado 90’ will be good solution. And, if a player is finding a blade which provides similar speed as ‘Hurricane Long 5X’ but hopes that the blade is close to neutral, ‘Fortino Force’ is seriously considerable.

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